Indian Envoy could've been target: Afghanistan on Kabul attack

Indian Envoy could've been target: Afghanistan on Kabul attack

Afghanistan today did not rule out that the Indian Ambassador there could have been the target of the Taliban attack on a guesthouse in Kabul and said it was yet another reminder for the international community to collectively fight the menace of terrorism.

"I had spoken to Indian Ambassador Amar Sinha. He said that he was invited for the musical event at the guesthouse. However, he had not confirmed his participation...So it cannot be totally ruled out that he could have been the target of the Talibans," Afghan Ambassador Shaida Mohammad Abdali told PTI.

Abdali also confirmed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's special envoy for good governance Ahmad Zia Massoud's comments that militants attacked the guesthouse thinking the Indian Ambassador was present there.

"However, it was up to our security and intelligence agencies to find out who was the real target of the attack... Apart from 4 Indians, two Pakistanis, an American, one Italian and a Kazak were among the 14 killed in the attack," he said, adding the rest were local Afghans.

He also said that due to the swift response by the Afghan forces, many lives were saved including three Indians who were present at the guesthouse.

Abdali asserted that the attack has not "shaken" Afghanistan's resolve to fight terror. "It was another reminder of the challenge the region is facing. These attacks will never shake our resolve to fight terror. In fact it strengthened our determination to combat the challenge."

The four Indians killed included two private auditors and an NGO worker who were at the Park Palace Guesthouse, located in the Kolola Pushta area of the Kabul city, when the Taliban militants stormed the building about 9 PM last night.

The three gunmen stormed the guesthouse and started firing. Afghan National Security Forces including Special Forces rushed to the spot and began striking back. All the attackers were killed in the siege that lasted for about seven hours, ending in the wee hours today.

The Taliban has claimed the responsibility for the attack.

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